Rugby star offered to give up lucrative contract after anti-gay comments

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Israel Folau. | Photo: Players Voice

Israel Folau offered to leave the Australian rugby union team, the Wallabies, after he came under fire for anti-gay comments.

Earlier this month Folau made headlines for replying to an Instagram comment saying ‘God’s Plan’ for gay people was ‘HELL’.

The comments created a furore internationally and Folau was dragged into a meeting with the code’s authorities. Folau managed to escape punishment, telling rugby leaders he should’ve ‘put a positive spin on that same message and done it in a more respectful way’.

‘People’s lives are not for me to judge’

But now Folau has penned a piece called ‘I’m a Sinner Too’. The pieced reflects on the recent controversy saying he offered to walk away from his lucrative contract with Rugby Australia.

Folau – who openly voted ‘no’ in Australia’s public vote on marriage equality – said it was not his up to him to judge other people’s lives.

‘Only God can do that,’ he wrote on Players Voice.

The 29-year-old said he first posted on Instagram about ‘God’s Plan’ after he tore his hamstring during a game.

He explained how finding Jesus after many years of sinning was very important to him.

‘I would sooner lose everything – friends, family, possessions, my football career, the lot – and still stand with Jesus, than have all of those things and not stand beside Him,’ he wrote.

Folau explained that he would stand by his beliefs but also believed in inclusion.

He addressed the seeming contradiction of appearing on the front of Australia’s oldest LGBTI magazine, Star Observer, in 2014. Folau graced the front page to promote the Bingham Cup – the international gay rugby competition.

Israel Folau (R) on the cover of Australian gay magazine, Star Observer

‘Since my social media posts were publicised, it has been suggested that I am homophobic and bigoted and that I have a problem with gay people,’ he wrote.

‘This could not be further from the truth.

‘I fronted the cover of the Star Observer magazine to show my support for the Bingham Cup, which is an international gay rugby competition for both men and women.

‘I believe in inclusion. In my heart, I know I do not have any phobia towards anyone’

During the furore, Folau compared himself to a persecuted prophet. In the letter he maintained he will hold onto his beliefs no matter what.

‘As testing as it can be standing up for what you believe in, the Bible tells us it will be worth it in the end,’ he wrote.

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